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What home plate looks like to Michael Kopech these days, in both size and movement.

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Gamethread: White Sox at Nationals

The South Siders join the opener movement

Pedro Grifol is doing whatever he can to find a spot where Michael Kopech can get his game back, and today it’s a try at the opener slot. Jesse Scholtens had originally been scheduled to start against the Nationals, and presumably will take over after Kopech gives it a try for an inning or two.

Will it work? Well, Kopech once looked headed for greatness, and now looks headed for a tiny footnote in White Sox history, his seven walks in 4 1⁄3 innings in September being pretty typical of his 2023. Switching Kopech to relief work didn’t help, so opener it is, and why not.

Scholtens might also benefit from having an opener, since his hittable peripherals have caught up with him and he’s given up 13 earned runs in 12 2⁄3 innings in his last three starts.

Meanwhile the offense, which yesterday managed two runs in 6 1⁄3 innings against a rookie who went into the game with an ERA of more than 17, will try today against an actual major league pitcher. Righty Josiah Gray, who will be starting for the Nats, comes in with a 4.07 ERA, but has given up 15 runs in 21 1⁄3 innings over his last five starts, so he may be getting worn out.

Gray throws about every pitch ever invented, led by a slider, four-seamer, cutter, curve and sinker, in that order, so don’t be surprised to see a kitchen sink hurled toward the plate at some point. He’ll be throwing to a White Sox lineup that has Carlos Pérez behind the plate, but otherwise looks like an attempt not to get to 100 losses ... at least not too soon.

T. Anderson SS
A. Benintendi LF
L. Robert Jr., CF
E. Jimenez DH
Y. Moncada 3B
A. Vaughn 1B
G. Sheets RF
L. Sosa 2B
C. Perez C

Kopech. et al, will see a Nationals lineup that has last night’s pinch-hitting hero, Joey Meneses, in the third slot.

C. Abrams SS
L. Thomas RF
J. Meneses DH
K. Ruiz C
D. Smith 1B
L. Garcia 2B
I. Vargas 3B
J. Alu LF
J. Young CF

Before the game, the White Sox announced that Gregory Santos’ season was ending early, as he hits the IL in order for Garrett Crochet to get a little late-season work in out of the pen. Apparently, Bryan Shaw is our closer now.

First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. Central on a perfect day for baseball, 77° with very light wind. Usual broadcast suspects.

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